7 Things You Need To Think About Before Working Overseas

We have job opportunities in Malaysia. Singapore. Philippines. Indonesia. Sometimes even in the UK.

Regardless of where you’re from, some of you will definitely have that yearning to work overseas. We get the appeal. Working far away from home, building a new life for yourself in a foreign land, learning about new cultures and food and healthcare methods… the works.

Before you do take that gigantic leap of faith to pack your bags and go off, here are some key points you should think about. Remember: working overseas is a huge step for your career. Don’t be careless!

1. Understand what you’re about to do

If you’re lucky enough to be able to bring your family with you, great job. You’ve landed yourself a sweet deal. Most of the time, you’ll be leaving family behind, only to see them during short holidays.

Are you willing to give that up for a certain amount of time?

Same goes for friends and relatives. It can even be the same for your favorite food, weather, entertainment, etc.

2. Visa visa visa

You need to properly and diligently ponder over your visa. Understand it fully. Depending on which work visa you have, you might have to return to your home country if you resign or get fired.

Some visas just don’t allow you to look for a job elsewhere after you arrive.

3. Get an employer who can help you

Negotiate! Negotiate and make sure you get a nice package that covers your expenses to relocate. Some employers even provide some aid to job searching for your partner if he/she accompanies you in your overseas journey.

It’s a big help if your employer helps you understand the local laws, taxes, and infrastructure, especially in countries where there is a language barrier to be overcome.

4. Cultural differences

We’re not just talking about intercultural relations. We mean corporate culture, or workplace culture. In some places, the norm is to take 2 hours off on Friday for prayers; something which is unacceptable in other countries.

Vacation packages are part of workplace culture as well. The UK gives an average of 25 paid days of leave, compared to 12-15 for countries in the ASEAN region. Make sure you ask about this, and understand it.

5. Finances

Take care of your finances even before you go off. It can get rather complicated.

Read up on how to set up an account abroad. Better still, get your employer to help you with it. Look into rates for transferring back to your home country.

6. Language and mannerisms

Prepare for the language barrier! Make sure you have basic conversational skills so you can go over necessities right away.

One tip is to read about the local pop culture and watch their popular shows, movies, and listen to their music. You’ll achieve a better understanding of the people, which helps in acquainting yourself in a foreign land.

7. Figure out how to get around

Will you need to drive? If yes, find out the processes for transferring your license into a local equivalent over there. You might have to do a re-test.

Find out if you need a car for navigating around, how much it normally costs, and how you’d finance it.

Want to try working overseas?

Search for high-paying overseas jobs at MIMS Career. MIMS Career is a premier, healthcare-focused job portal site for Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Our simple sign-up process allows you to easily apply for jobs you might be interested in with a single click. Job locations include hospitals, nursing homes, and private practices. It’s free, easy to use, and safe.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up a job alert and we’ll notify you by email whenever positions that suit your preferences are available. All of our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can take your applications with you on the go.

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  Photo by Rami Al-Zayat  

  1. Note-taking  
 2. Scheduling  
 3. Reading  

 Smartphone as a work assistant 

 Our phones have gone from blocky, awkward devices to sleek, thin machines. It is now 2017, and processing power in smartphones (even in budget ones) have overcome the performance of some computers just ten years ago. 

 With the modern smartphone now more of a pocket computer than a communication device, several apps have been made to make work easier. These apps, when used with a bit of creativity and time, can help you  stay on top of your goals, never miss an important piece of info, track everything that matters to you and increase mental focus.  

 Read on to find out how you can transform your phone from a typical communications device to an indispensable work and life assistant. 

 1. Note-taking 

 Text 

 Take notes with your phone rather than on a piece of paper. Unlike paper, you won’t lose digital notes if you have them backed up to the cloud. Moreover, you can take hundreds of notes with you on your phone without needing to carry thick notebooks everywhere you go. 

 Most note-taking apps are searchable, like a web browser. Retrieve your information quickly and easily, whenever you need it. On Android, the best note-taking app is  Google Keep . Keep allows your to color-code your notes to your fancy. Add them to your home screen as a widget for quick access. You can still view your notes on any computer with an internet connection. Simply go over to the  Google Keep  site, log in with your Google account, and browse through your notes. 

   

  source  

   

  source  

 On iOS, we recommend the default Notes app. It’s beautifully designed, clean, and robust. Write notes on the fly, and format your text in  bold ,  italics , or underlined. Much like Google Keep, you can attach photos on to your notes. You can also organize them in folders, for easy retrieval. 

   

  source  

  Bonus tip : You can create a note with your voice! Activate Siri by long-pressing the home button, and say “ Make a note “. Siri will ask you what to write about, and it will write whatever you just said. 

 Scan documents 

 What if you had access to all the paper receipts, documents, letters, and notes; any time, anywhere? You can! Your smartphone has a camera. The best scanner is the scanner you always have with you! 

 Simply point your phone towards a paper document and take a photo. Make sure you adjust the focus a bit so text is clear on your phone’s screen. Then, simply create a photo album in your phone’s photos gallery, label it  SCANS  and move the photos of your documents there. 

 Evernote ( iOS ,  Android ) is a multi-platform note-taking app that has a really cool scanning function. When you scan documents with Evernote, the app will brighten the document, making it seem like it was really scanned using a proper scanner. In dark environments, the app will automatically activate your phone’s flash to brighten up the image. Even when taking scans of the document at an angle, Evernote will modify the image to make it seem like you took it straight down! 

   

  source  

 Evernote has OCR (Optical Character Recognition); meaning that words in the document scans are searchable in the app. It even works for handwriting! 

 Other alternatives to Evernote include  Scanbot ,  PDF Scanner + OCR Free , and  Scanner Pro . 

 Draw sketches 

 Sometimes text just doesn’t cut it. What if you need to draw something? It happens a lot, especially in nursing and medical work. 

 Both Google Keep and iOS notes have the ability to create drawings. Unlike pen and paper, you’ll never run out of ink! 

   

  Android Police  

   

  How to make a drawing in Notes iOS  

 2. Scheduling 

 Calendar 

 Schedule events or tasks that you can’t do today. Any calendar app works well; but we recommend Google Calendar ( iOS ,  Android ). It has natural language text-parsing, meaning you simply type your event into the app like how you’d say it. For example, typing: 

 
 Midwifery refresher seminar 8pm Sunday at UMMC 
 

 Will add a calendar entry  Midwifery refresher seminar , dated on Sunday at 8PM, and location at UMMC. The app can take the information of the location of the event from Google Maps. So on that day, it notifies you what time you should leave to arrive on time! 

   

  Macworld  

 3. Reading 

 Books 

 Why bring your whole bookshelf when you can just carry your phone with you? Many textbook publishers also offer ebook versions of their textbooks. With an ebook reader app, you can read books you’ve saved on your phone. Now you can refer your favorite 900-page physiology textbook anywhere without needing to break your back. 

 The Kindle ( iOS , Android ) app allows you to buy ebooks from Amazon and you can read them anytime you like. Check out their selection of  nursing textbooks  that you can get cheaper than the physical copies. Even if you delete the ebooks off your phone, you can still re-download them from Kindle. 

   

  Play Store  

 3. Task Management 

 Todoist (iOS, Android) 

 Putting tasks out of your head and into a system that you trust is one of the best ways to prevent information overload. This enables you to have less mental distractions as you only focus on the task you are currently doing, rather than having other future tasks nagging in your mind. 

 Using task management apps can seem complicated, but it actually is not. The end goal is to spend less time doing the things you want to do, so that you have more time to do the things you want to do. 

 Having a to-do list makes it easy for you to see what you have right now, and what actions are up next.  Todoist  is a great app for this. It’s available on all platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, and Chrome. 

   

  Todoist  

 Start by listing down tasks in your Inbox. As your task list grows, you might start to see some tasks are related to each other. Create projects in Todoist to group these tasks and sort them. 

 Some tasks are more complicated than other tasks. You can break down these tasks into a series of sub-tasks, allowing you to focus on tackling one thing at a time in pursuit of a larger goal. Remember, to eat an elephant, you need to take one bite at a time. 

   

  Todoist  

 Also, just like Google Calendar, Todoist accepts natural language input; set tasks to recur daily, monthly, every two weeks, or even something complicated such as “ Every third Saturday of the month “. Todoist will understand you. See  here  for the complete guide. 

 Todoist is free to use, but with a small subscription fee, premium features such as location-based reminders, file attachments, and tagging are unlocked. 

 
 The modern smartphone is a great tool for self-improvement, organization, and productivity. In such a small device, you can read books, take notes, and stay on top of your work any time, any day. As nurses’ work become more and more complex, we need better tools to help us keep track of daily life. Hopefully you have gained insight into using this great tool, and help you take on challenges that will advance your career as a nurse. 

 Head over to  MIMS Career  and discover our wide range of nurse jobs. All of our pages are mobile-responsive; browse jobs, sign up, and apply are all doable on your smartphone. Make your next career move, with  MIMS Career . 
   

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You Should Be Using These Apps On Your Phone

Photo by Rami Al-Zayat 1. Note-taking 2. Scheduling 3. Reading Smartphone as a work assistant Our phones have gone from blocky, awkward devices to sleek, thin machines. It is now 2017, and processing power in...

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 Résumé’s (also known as CVs) are great. They sumarize your experiences onto a few pages so your employer can quickly get a sense of who you are before hiring you. However, employers have to go through a lot of résumés in their search for a potential hire, so making a great résumé can result in a good first impression. 

 Traditionally, résumés have been blocky, information-dense pieces of paper that you send out to employers you’re checking out. With the advancements in personal computing, software and printing, people have been more and more creative with how they craft their résumé’s. 

 The more traditional approach can look more professional and neat, but a creative approach can often help you stand out from the crowd. Choose a method that best presents you in a positive light. 

 Before you write your résumé 

 Before you write down your résumé, sit down and take note of what you’ve done. Any interesting projects taken? Achievements? List it down. 

 Also verify the dates of your education background. It can be easy to forget, especially if you’ve left your academic studies for a long time. Also try and find out the full course or programme names of your certificates, degrees, doctorates. 

 Doing great things lead to a great résumé. Take up as many opportunities as possible that can be put on a résumé, like volunteer work, teaching, skills training, etc. 

 The traditional approach 

 Easy way: Use a predefined template from Word, Pages, or Docs. 

  Tools needed: A PC, tablet, or smartphone.  

 This is as simple as it gets: 

 
	 Open the word processor, and select from the list of templates given. 
	 You can add, remove, or move around certain sections which do not pertain to you. 
	 For example, for a fresh graduate, your education background would come above your work experience because the former is more important at that stage of life. Vice versa for those already working. 
	 Want more templates? Check out  https://r  ésumégenius.com/résumé-templates . 
 

 Normal way: Build it from scratch. 

  Tools needed: PC, tablet, smartphone. Word editing software needed.  

 Building your résumé from scratch allows you to customize every single aspect of that you can present to your future employer. 

 Start by writing down your info. Be concise, truthful, and accurate. 

 Then  add your work experience , or educational background. As previously mentioned, this depends on whether you’re still studying or have already worked. Put it in reverse-chonological order; meaning the latest job first, and the first job last. Same with education. 

  Add in your skills.  It helps employers a lot if you could put in the degree of proficiency. To keep it simple, just rate it from 1-5. For example, ANSYS = ⅘ , SolidWorks = ⅗, verbal communication ⅗, and so on. Some skills to add include software (ANSYS, SPSS), or equipment handling (telemetry, ECG, cardiographs). 

  Don’t forget to add in your language ability.  When working in sectors like healthcare, where you deal with a diverse set of people (especially in multi-cultural Malaysia!) it helps to be bi- or trilingual. Employers love that. 

 Now that you’ve added all you have to add, start by styling the text appropriately. A good rule to follow is to enlarge each point by a few titles, then bold it, so the reader can quickly skim through your résumé. 

  Ensure there is enough spacing.  Think of whitespace as breathing room. You want your text to be able to breathe in order to be legible. A cramped document is not fun to read. 

 Add in the headers and footers. A good use of headers would be your  name and contact number , in 9-pt font. Employers often put your résumé in a stack, and putting something to identify you there would help a great deal. You can put a page number on the footer for continuity purposes. 

 View over the entire document. Ensure the margins are properly aligned. Is the font legible? Clear? Then head over to save and print it out. You’re done! 

 The creative approach 

 With easy application processes from job portals like MIMS Career, employers now are as equally likely to read your résumé in a digital format, on a screen. 

 This allows for some creativity, as current screens can now reproduce millions of colors, in different shapes and sizes. 

 Remember not to overdo a creative design; keep it subtle, keep it clean, and keep the information legible. 

 Easy way: Use an online résumé builder. 

  Tools needed: PC, with keyboard and mouse recommended. An internet connection is important.  

 My favorite résumé builder is, by far,  Novorésumé . 

 Very intuitive controls. A good degree of customization available. 

 Their presets are killer design. They’ve matched out complementary colors in each of their templates so you don’t have to. They’re all subtle, yet sophisticated. Clean, yet intricate. 

 It’s also multi-lingual, so you can craft your Bahasa Malaysia résumé in it as well. 

 Have a look at Elon Musk’s résumé, generated by Novorésumé. It’s simple, packed, and most importantly, eye-catching. It already looks superior compared to a lot of the résumés we have seen. It also proves that you don’t need many pages to list down your info, despite being one of the world’s most successful visionaries. 

   

 There are also other résumé builders online:  Reed  is one of them. Just do a Google search, you’ll eventually find out with layouts or usability that you really like. 

 The Normal way: Design it yourself! 

  Tools: PC, Keyboard + Mouse, Drawing tablets optional, PhotoShop/Illustrator/Any online sketching tool.  

 To do this, you might need some additional skills with illustration software. 

 The idea is to create a layout that draws attention but doesn’t compromise on information legibility. 

 You can have a look at great designs from dribbble.com, a site where great designers like to post their work. Have a look at the ones you like, and determine what you like about them and incorporate them into your design. It’s good inspiration. 

  You need to keep in mind 4 things:  

  Typography  

 
	 Use 15-25px only. A too large text-size can look goofy and awkward. 
	 Like a kids book. Use a big font for headlines, and employ a low font weight. Like Helvetica or Lato. 
	 Since you’re sending this over the web, and it will be read on screen, go for a sans-serif font for easier legibility. 
 

  Colors  

 
	 Use only one base color. A résumé with too many colors will make it look amateur and is a pain to see. In the end, your résumé is an official document used to represent you in a good light. 
	 Never choose black for your base color. Black never appears in the real world. It is sombre, demure, and lacks energy. 
	 It is always a bad idea to use black for anything that is to be displayed on-screen, other than text. 
 

  Icons  

 
	 Icons can help increase aesthetic features and help you stand out. 
	 Use icons that are recognizable, like a suitcase for work experience, a graduation hat for education, etc. 
	 I recommend the use of icon fonts. They are scalable at various dpi on-screen. 
 

  Whitespace layout  

 
	 Whitespace is space where there’s no stuff. 
	 Use it to define hierarchy by putting some space between your education, work, skills, and information sections. 
	 Use that whitespace to build flow for the résumé reader. 
 

 Conclusion 

 That’s it! It all depends on how much time and effort you can put in to your résumé. Remember to keep it simple, accurate info, and not too long; 2 pages should be the absolute maximum. 

 You what would be a great use of that résumé? Use it when applying for jobs in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia with our job portal,  MIMS Career .. A lot of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners have been using the service, and many of them have landed the jobs at the location they’ve always wanted. Signup and apply now using our 1-click application feature. It’s fast, safe, and free. Any problems? Email us at mycareer@mims.com for more inquiries.

How to Write a Great Resumé

Résumé’s (also known as CVs) are great. They sumarize your experiences onto a few pages so your employer can quickly get a sense of who you are before hiring you. However, employers have to go through a lot of...

Read More